Three years ago yesterday, we got a call that changed our lives forever: a baby boy had been born 17 days earlier, and we were being given the chance to become his parents. You can read that blog entry for more on that momentous day, but as I've thought a lot about that day this week, never in my wildest dreams did I anticipate reliving it...
But then this afternoon, I got another call...
Jadon's birth mom had a baby girl 24 days ago, and long story short, we are now being given the chance to become her parents.
I had so many plans for this week, this summer, this year...but now all those plans have been wiped away in an instant and we are giddy thinking about bringing home OUR DAUGHTER!
Giddiness is pretty much the constant underlying emotion...but it has been accompanied by a fair share of other thoughts and feelings...
What are we going to name her? Ariana and Eliana are two names we have thrown around for fun in the past...but now that push comes to shove, there are a ton of other options out there! Which one is right for this baby girl we have yet to meet?
How am I going to survive TWO sleepless children?!?!
I'm going to have my long awaited daughter!!!!
Wait, is this it? Could this be our family? We've always thought we were 2 kid people...and now we have a girl and a boy. Hmmmm...after so many years of waiting and longing, it feels weird to just be done...
Oh shoot, what if Jadon's mom keeps popping out babies? Hmmmmm...
Oh man, how am I going to take Jadon to Legoland and the beach this summer with an infant?
Oh man...how do I pack a diaper bag for an infant again?
Oh wow! I'm going to have a daughter in our pink bedroom!
Yikes, how is Jadon going to react? He's really good at being an only child!
Awwww, I'm going to miss these days of Jadon and I. This is a sad end of an era.
Aw crap! How am I going to balance TWO needy kids? (just this morning I told God that I was exhausted and really couldn't do this parenting thing without Him...and that was with just one child!)
But WOOHOO!!! We have a daughter!!!
Over a week has passed since that momentous day, and most of the feelings of fear have drained away to an overwhelming sense of peace and understanding that God has orchestrated all of it...
Because, oh yeah, the story didn't end after that phone call! When Jim got home a couple hours later (after a brief 3-min. conversation where I told him the exciting news before he had to rush off to another meeting), he eagerly asked me for the details as we prepared dinner for company, and then added that he had some other big news to share. It turns out that he also had a life-changing conversation that afternoon, with our college-aged pastor, who had just accepted a call with his wife to serve in the UK with a church planting movement...and they are starting in September...which means they need to leave New Song in August...which means, long story short, that Jim has decided to step out of 15 years of youth ministry into an adult ministry role!
That sentence looks so much less momentous in type than it felt that evening in our kitchen! This is huge. For virtually our entire relationship (we started dating in February 1997 and started youth ministry that fall) we have served teenagers together. We love teenagers. (Although lately, we have been feeling our age more, ha!)
So indeed, what a difference a day makes. In this case, what a difference an hour made! Within 60 minutes, we accepted "challenges" that are drastically changing the course of our lives. But again, although overwhelmed, we are really, really excited.
So excited, in fact, that we decided to make one more huge decision 2 days later: We decided to officially become a minivan family!
We have been thinking about getting a new car for a year or so now. My 1997 Saturn has 210,000+ miles, and while the engine works great, "nothing" else does (broken AC, heater, windows, locks, ceiling fabric, side mirror, etc...). But when we decided to invest my car fund into our next movie project (which, as yet, God has still not given the green light), we knew that my new car dreams would have to be put on hold for awhile, until we got the money back or we truly "needed" it.
During this time, I went from avoiding the thought of buying a minivan like a plague, to realizing that a minivan was the car that really made the most sense for us. I kind of had a moment where it was almost like God was challenging me on my pride. "You think you're too cool for a minivan? You're a mom, Rachel. Embrace it!" Well, if you put it like that, God! So I humbled myself and looked at a Toyota Sienna...and totally fell in love!!! At least, I fell in love with the SE ("sport") model, 2011 or newer--which had just a touch more of a "cool" factor, ha! Unfortunately, those models are relatively few and far between. Which makes good deals on them even fewer and further between. Over the months, I gulped at the price tag I'd be paying...and Jim flat out balked, "We aren't those kind of people!" Well, since I didn't have the money anyway, I just had fun occasionally looking and dreaming. And as I looked, I one time told God, you know, it would be fun to have cool rims on my car. (I know, girls aren't supposed to care about rims, but a neighbor down the street has a Sequoia with cool rims, and I really like them :))
So back to last week, long story short, Jim and I looked at each other and realized my car during the summer really would be miserable for an infant, and as it is, we had a tough time fitting everyone/thing in it that we needed many times. This was it: it was "time" for a new car. Since I couldn't sleep for the first 3 days after hearing all this news, I spent my sleepless nights scouring the internet, and ultimately found only 1 (that's right, ONE!) used Sienna SE within a 200 mile radius that looked like what I wanted, and 2 new cars within a 100 mile radius that were a color that I wanted (hey, I figured if I was going to go new, I might as well get exactly what I wanted, right?!). And guess what, they were all at the same dealership in Escondido. So on Friday afternoon, after Jim "generously" offered to stay home with Jadon (hey, he came home early from work to do it), my dad and I went to Carlsbad first to check out their SE (it wasn't the right color, but it was so close to home, I just wanted to get a feel first)...and then we made it to Escondido, and while I really liked the new ones (with dual DVD entertainment!), when I saw the used one, I had to laugh, and I knew immediately that it was mine. It didn't have the DVD...but it did have custom rims! Ha!
(We finally got to see a picture of her, and oh. my. goodness, she is the cutest thing ever!!!!)
Another prayer we have is for Jadon, who is really good at being an only child...and has been very passively resistant to this new idea of having a sister. But, for the first time today, he actually talked about her on his own (usually he changes the subject or walks away or just stares blankly when we talk about her).
God is so good, and we are so excited to be embarking on this new leg of our journey through life.
What a ride!